I'm giving the Flexbar a try for my TE

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by mbm0912, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    I ordered the medium, green one in hopes to alleviate some of the pain I get in my arm from time to time. I'm actually going to drop my string tension even more too. I can't stand not being able to play due to arm and shoulder pain! Anyone use a Flexbar with positive results?
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I have the red one and the green one. I never did much with them, as they didn't seem to help. What helped most was lowering my tension, getting an elbow band, and taking it easy. I also worked with a pro on my FH form so I use more body and less arm. Even now if I start arming the ball too much, I will feel the elbow.

    I heard you really should start with the red one and work up to the green one, FWIW.
     
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  3. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    What kind of band are you wearing? I would like to try this as well. Thanks for your response.
     
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  4. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    The Flex bar works great for me. It's meant as a preventive measure and not as a cure, so don't wait until you have severe TE before you try it and expect a miracle.

    If you have severe TE, wait until you're better first before using the Flex bar. Or wait until you're somewhat better and start using the red one a little bit first, until you feel better enough to use the green one.

    But once you're healed, keep using it about 3 sets of 15-20 reps a day as an exercise to maintain and condition your arm as a physical exercise while you're playing, and it will help keep you out of trouble.

    If you have TE from overuse, then it will help. If you have TE from bad technique, then it wouldn't help as much. You'll need a coach for that.

    My opinion on the arm band is that it's a temporary band aid solution but it's not a long term solution. It doesn't cure the pain, it only masks and deflects the pain temporarily when you put it on to allow you to play, but as soon as you take it off, the pain is still there and can get worse.

    The Flex band is a long term physical conditioning solution, because it helps improve the strength of your arm so that your arm muscles instead of your tendon will do the work while playing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
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  5. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    nice, thank you!
     
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  6. sm01

    sm01 Rookie

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    I use the green for post play stretching and off day strengthening.

    Follow the instructions, twist it and hold with arms outstretched, allowing the flexbar to pull. You should feel a pull on your elbow tendon--feels great.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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  8. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    Thank you sm01! It should be here in the next few days, I'm eager to get started.
     
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  9. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    #9
  10. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
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  11. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    It is important to understand that too much exercise too soon with the green flexbar can actually lead to the frustating situation of not improving your pain, or even making it worse!


    What is likely happening at tendon level is that there are multiple small tears in the tendon:

    [​IMG]



    Now most of us have seen a wound in the skin heal over in week.

    But skin is a special tissue that heals quickly.

    Tendon on the other hand, takes a LONG time to heal.



    Tendon heals by the body making little threads of protein that look like a spider's web.

    [​IMG]

    Just like a spider's web, these protein fibers can easily be disrupted by too much movement, never mind vigorous exercise!



    So it takes many weeks for the body to weave these individual fibers into a strong tendon, that almost resembles a braided rope:

    [​IMG]



    During the most active phase of healing (inflammation) the body is making lots of chemicals (cytokines) to initiate and promote the healing.

    Unfortunately those chemicals also irritate delicate nerve endings, causing pain.

    But pain then can become a valuable indication of how much activity/exercise you can do.



    So first, REST until the pain improves.

    Then the principle of rehabilitation done by all physical therapists is to very gently begin moving the joint involved.

    If pain recurs, or worsens, the exercise must be stopped, and not start until the pain lessens.



    I would highly recommend starting exercise with a red Theraband Flexbar.

    It probably would seem like only a "wimp" would use one so easy to flex, but it is the one used in the big study on tennis elbow.

    The red is designed to do the "Tyler Twist" without disrupting the healing fibers in your elbow tendon.


    Once you can do the exercise with the red for a couple of weeks, only then should you move on to the green.
    Again start gently or risk tearing the fibers apart, and have to start healing all over again.


    After a few weeks using the green, begin to incorporate in the exercises in the Thrower's Ten Exercises: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/athletics/athletic_training/throwers10.pdf



    Only after all of this should you return to gentle short hitting sessions, gradually increasing your hitting force and length of your practice sessions over time.


    By taking this step by step approach you should be able to return to tennis actually much faster than those who return to soon, tear all the healing fibers, and have to start all the healing all over again.
    Check out the multiple long threads here in this section of those who tried to return too soon, only to lengthen their misery.


    I hope this helps.

    I wish you the best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
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  12. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    Extremely informative, thank you very much!
     
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  13. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    once charliefedererer weighed it.. end of discussion :)

    Few things that made it better for me -

    1. Rest (although I took less than required)
    2. Exercises (Thera-Band Flexbar - Red)
    3. Technique corrections (via videotape)
    4. String/Tension - reduced tension (also tried hybrid setup)
     
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  14. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    Thanks! Not playing is the hardest for me.
     
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  15. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Not playing is incredibly frustrating.

    For those that love tennis, there seems to be a real void.

    But staying in shape with some running or cycling will help pass the time quicker and have you ready to get back to tennis after the rest and rehab.
     
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  16. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Many resist hitting with a more flexible racquet and softer strings (natural gut or multifilament rather than poly).

    But it doesn't have to be a permanent solution.

    Picking up an older flexible frame and stringing it with a multifilament can be relatively inexpensive.
    Sure it won't perform like the former set up - but it may get you back on the court quicker for an earlier return to hitting sessions - and help prevent an early recurrence.
    This set up also helps on an earlier return to serving practice without suffering a recurrence.
    I think you are absolutely right that many who suffered tennis elbow can eventually do better with a hybrid to get the spin they want, but avoid the harshness of a full poly set up.



    With more time to spend off the courts, reexamining stroke technique is an excellent suggestion.
    Getting someone to video your strokes is a great way to understand what you are doing, and if there is room for imprrovement.
    Even investment in having a pro review your strokes is worthwhile if there is a concern there is some flaw in technique predisposing to tennis elbow.
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Too many folks are hung up on the poly craze. I've tried it and I like the durability and spin. My results don't change though when I play with a flexible racket and multifilament strings. It's the Indian not the arrow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
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  18. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Sage advice.



    I noticed there are 235 pages and 4,695 posts in your thread Mikeler's Multi's http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=352048.

    That was my first clue you were partial to multifilament. :)

    But seriously, thanks for providing plenty of information to help player's get over their golfer's and tennis elbow.
     
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  19. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    And more reviews are coming after my annual club tournament ends next weekend. :)
     
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  20. tennis1111

    tennis1111 Rookie

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    I'm fighting with my tennis elbow for one year and I've learnd lot about it on this forum. Has anyone seen or tried self treatment on http://tenniselbowclassroom.com or is it another web site who gives you empty hope just to pay membership?
     
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